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Katherine Gardiner Awarded New Classroom Start Up Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | February 19, 2018, 09:36 PM   

Congratulations to Ms. Katherine Gardiner, third grade teacher at North Idaho STEM Charter Academy in Rathdrum, ID, on her $250 New Classroom Start Up Award from NWPE.

katie gardner cropMs. Gardiner intends to build up her classroom’s materials and books to strengthen core knowledge, content comprehension, and address multiple learning profiles.  Her students will learn through seeing, reading, saying, and hands-on activities. She believes that by purchasing more books with vibrant color photos, activities to reinforce and apply knowledge, and text that is age-appropriate, she will be better able to teach the state science standards.  She also intends to purchase “The Logic of English” curriculum to meet the needs of all learners by building strong foundational skills in the knowledge the English language.  “Building a strong foundation in the English language benefits students in miraculous ways and teachers see improvements in every subject as it affects reading, writing, and comprehension.”

Ms. Gardiner is thrilled to be teaching as it has been a life-long goal which she discovered at the age of 6 when playing school with siblings and designing her own homework.  She solidified her goal as a high school senior when she spent the first hour of each morning as a 1st/2nd grade Teacher’s Assistance at her local elementary school. She attributes her love of teaching to that classroom’s teacher, Mrs. Ross, who taught the curriculum’s knowledge core with a gentle nature yet firm discipline.   Additionally, the time she spent in Mr. Bailey’s classroom was significant as that year of her life was a tumultuous one.  “He gave me the guidance I needed, strength and confidence in myself, and courage to continue. Teaching now, I can honestly say that the influence of Mrs. Ross and Mr. Bailey has brought me to the point where I am confident in my classroom and wake up excited to go to school and see my students each day.”

Ms. Gardiner finds that her greatest challenge as an educator is also her greatest satisfaction, namely, balancing the needs of her children both at home and in the classroom.  “Both are part of my family and both need my undivided attention at times. Focusing my attention on each is a balancing act which requires so much practice.  I welcome the challenge it continues to present each passing week.  Knowing that I am needed in both areas means that I am doing well and am successful as a mom and a teacher.”

First impressions are key to raising the professionalism of teaching as a career according to Ms. Gardiner.  She welcomes high standards of dress and personal care both on the outside and inside to raise respect for educators. “Educators are fearless, taking on the toughest schools, hardest to reach kids, and more difficult districts sometimes. We should be rising to the occasion and dressing for the part. That means on the outside and inside. Taking care of our personal appearance shows the outside world that we are serious about our calling. Caring for physical well-being accomplishes that task from the inside. When we feel ready to take on the day, we are more likely to look ready as well. Increasing teacher health awareness benefits professionalism. Offering free access to local gyms, health seminars, counseling services, and even maid or handyman services are all beneficial to teachers’ health which will consequently improve professionalism at school.”

NWPE looks forward to a long collaboration with Ms. Gardiner who has worked in both private and now public schools.

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